2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Thinking Straight: A Cooperative Approach to Critical Reasoning

Spring quarter

Faculty: David Paulsen cognitive science, philosophy

Fields of Study: law and public policy, philosophy and philosophy of science

Spring: CRN (Credit) Level 30277 (16) Fr; 30278 (16) So - Sr; 30487 (1-16)  

Credits: 16(S)

Class Standing: Freshmen - Senior; 25% of the seats are reserved for freshmenFreshmen - Senior

Offered During: Day

Academic Website: http://academic.evergreen.edu/curricular/thinkingstraight/


Do you want to work on improving your critical reasoning skills? This program is ideal for students with an interest in exploring techniques of critical reasoning. The program will be taught in a discussion/workshop format with only occasional mini-lectures to set the stage for class work.  The program will focus on techniques of understanding and criticizing arguments and theories.  It will emphasize a cooperative, dialogic approach to deciding what to believe. Thinking Straight will cover standard topics in informal logic including argument reconstruction, assessment of validity and fallacies.  The program will contain an extensive discussion of ethical theory and reasoning about moral issues. It will examine ethical reasoning embedded in some films as well as in case studies.  We will explore as well some topics concerning statistical and scientific reasoning. We will apply critical reasoning techniques to a number of contemporary, contentious issues found in a variety of texts including selections from books, newspaper editorials and columns, Web documents, and journal articles. Students will be expected to gather material and make presentations that clarify and assess the reasoning underlying important current issues.  They will be evaluated on the basis of performance on assignments, in class discussion and project work, an annotated portfolio of material they collect over the quarter, as well as exams.Students will deal with the elements of the program through a series of structured workshops, including small and large group discussion as well as mini-lectures and assignments.  In addition, students will be expected to submit essays growing out of the topics covered in the ethics component of the program and participate in a team project leading to a cooperative, critical exchange that debates two sides of a question in front of the class by providing arguments and appropriate criticism.

Maximum Enrollment: 24

Preparatory for studies or careers in: This program is ideal for first and second year students as well as others with an interest in exploring techniques of critical reasoning.  As well as students interested in further study of philosophy and of law.

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online

Books: www.tescbookstore.com